All posts by opadmin

BENEFITS OF A WEBSITE REDESIGN

Many think of a website redesign as a daunting, time-consuming, and expensive task. However, it doesn’t have to be any of those things.

Updating your business’s website can have many benefits. It can improve the experience of your users and better serve their needs, make your site more up-to-date or visually appealing, improve the display or surfacing of content, include a new product or business strategy, display a new company brand or message, and become better optimized so it ranks higher on search engines, therefore, allowing prospects to easily find you, which often helps to generate more leads. And it could be cheaper, faster, and easier than you think.

  • You don’t have to redesign your entire website at once. You may just need to update the most viewed pages, like your home page and/or your content landing pages.
  • Most people only need to update their sites every 18 months to two years.
  • The average redesign only takes 3 months or less to implement.
  • The average cost is 10% or less of a marketing budget.
  • With responsive websites, you don’t need to have a separate mobile site, and your users can switch easily between devices, which people increasingly prefer. According to Google, 90% of viewers tend to move between devices to complete a task, and 74% of the users themselves say that they are more likely to return to a site if it is mobile-friendly.
  • You could see as much as a 25% change in your website metrics.
  • You can use an external resource to do the job for you, so you can stay on top of your business and not have your staff tied up with working through the sometimes confusing task of redesigning the website.

Sunpoint Web Design can help you create a better experience for your customers. Contact us today to learn more.

Click Here to view the original article from the Huffington Post

YOU NEED A RESPONSIVE WEBSITE FOR MOBILE USERS

In today’s web world more and more people use mobile device to both surf and find who and what they are looking for. Folks do everything from checking out their social media, logging to read and send emails, and finding the local and national businesses they will make purchases from. All you have to do is sit in any doctors waiting room or attend a child’s sporting event to see just how much time people spend searching the web on their smart phones and tablets.

If you own a business its never been more important to have a proper mobile responsive website that meets Google’s criteria for mobile searches.

Many business people with older websites may not have a mobile website at all (BIG MISTAKE) or have a separate site designed for desktops and for mobile users. Obviously if you do not have any mobile site at all you will not be found on a mobile web search. But did you know that Google also doesn’t want you to have a separate mobile website? Yes its true that if someone searches for you separate mobile website directly by typing your URL address in the search bar you will come up. However if the customer types in “Dog Sitters Boston MA”, and you do not have the type of website that Google wants, your dog sitting business may not come up at all.

So what is it exactly that Google wants? And what type of site to they prefer you to have? It is called a responsive site. This is a single site that is coded in a way to work on both desktops and mobile devices.

What is responsive design?

A responsive design means a website that has been built so all of the content of the site stays the same on a desktop or any type of mobile device.

With today’s technology this is simple and affordable to achieve.

Sunpoint Web Design can create a custom site for you that both you and Google will love very affordably.

Gut Instinct vs. Data: Which Is More Important When Making a Business Decision?

I once heard a father telling his son that the best way to make a big decision in life is to ask 50 people for their opinions and then do what your heart tells you. This line of thinking proposes that research should be the first or foremost step of any big decision, and this certainly makes sense. It only stands to reason.

In business, however, many famous CEOs have discounted research and data and made some very tough calls based largely (if not solely) on their gut instinct – sometimes leading to riches and other times to catastrophic losses.

Take Steve Jobs, for example. He was famous for making critical decisions at Apple without first consulting fact-based business data. In 2010, Jobs accurately predicted that the tablet could actually overtake the PC one day, despite many data reports to the contrary. Following his intuition, in April of that same year, he launched the iPad, disregarding the many doubters who doomed it to fail.

As we know now, that decision has paid off: Apple sold more than 70 million iPads last year, and according to prominent Gartner Research, tablets should outsell traditional PCs for the first time in 2015.

On the flip side, there’s the example of Motorola and its CEO Gregory Brown. In 1998, Brown ignored all indications that the mobile phone was taking off and instead invested heavily in Iridium satellite phone technology, despite it already being obsolete. This failed venture cost the company $8 billion.

So the questions remains: Should we make the big calls based on gut or data?

The Holistic Approach: “Data-Informed Gut Decisions”

These business leaders aren’t alone in their reliance on that “inner feeling.” Richard Branson, famed founder of Virgin once said, “I rely far more on gut instinct than researching huge amounts of statistics.”

Similarly, a Fortune Knowledge Group study reports that 62 percent of executives feel it is often necessary to rely on gut feelings and soft factors when making big decisions on partnerships and proposals.

Yet recent economic history dictates that sound business data and experience should certainly weigh into the equation. In fact, new business intelligence (BI) technologies propose a better way to make important business decisions without betting the farm by using a hybrid approach: take all facts, statistics, and numbers into account, and only after empowering yourself with that knowledge, determine what your gut tells you.

There is simply too much at stake today to discount sound factual information, especially with the boom of business intelligence software that helps companies quickly and easily compile data and analyze it in easy to understand dashboards and reports. This provides businesses with powerful data-based insights, encouraging decision makers to take these insights into account before tapping into their gut feelings. These decisions are then transformed into “data-informed gut decisions,” and come with far less risk since they leverage both instincts and the added power of data analytics.

Business Intelligence Bridges the Heart and the Head

Today BI enables businesses to combine inordinate amounts of data from CRM systems, financial databases, web reporting, social media, and so much more, and intelligently synthesize this raw information, first with computers, then with our minds, and finally with our hearts. Data visualization brings this analyzed information to life and allows us to transform it into meaningful business intelligence, which we can use to make more informed, intelligent decisions that also feel right.

Don Valentine, the founder of Sequoia Capital, puts it perfectly by stating, “Follow your instincts,” which Michael Moritz interprets to mean, “Do your homework well, analyze things carefully, assess the options but eventually trust your judgment and have the courage of your convictions – even if they are unpopular.”

There are simply too many inexpensive yet powerful BI tools on the market today to fall victim to a poorly chosen strategic direction based solely on instinct. It can literally be the difference between exploding corporate profits and imploding corporate destruction. Data analysis and gut decision-making must work hand in hand.

Data Is More Than Just Backup

Interestingly, research surrounding this topic supports the idea that decision makers today are taking a more holistic approach. According to the Economist Intelligence Unit (2014), “executives use data to confirm that their gut feeling and preexisting beliefs are correct.” In fact, according to their study, “57 percent (of senior business professionals) would reanalyze data if it contradicted their inner gut feelings.”

What this all tells us is that the best way to approach big decisions is to first consult as much factual data as possible, review it to discern what to take and what to discard, and then rely on a gut instinct to make the best call. With this approach, you have a far greater probability of making the right choice.

Click here to view the original article from AllBusiness Experts.

Nielsen: Narrower-Targeted Ad Campaigns Perform Better

Check out this recent article from on focusing your advertising campaign:

The number of ad campaigns that reached their intended targets declined across the board, particularly among the Gen X demographic.

Fifty-nine percent of ad impressions served across all consumer segments reach their intended audience, according to research from Nielsen Online Campaign Rating (OCR). The figure, which is down by 10 percent from 2013, illustrates a decline that correlates with targeted audiences that are narrower and more focused.

Nielsen’s OCR analysis, which included almost double the sample of last year’s study, looked at consumers’ online behaviors and how marketers can appropriately tailor their advertising campaigns to them.

It broke the population into six demographics zones, each representing a targeted segment by age and gender. Demographics one and two represent people with an age span of 30 years, with the latter focused on males or females individually, as opposed to lumped in together.

While segments one and two have the breadth to deliver campaign impressions to their intended audiences at higher rates – they represent 36 percent of site observations, a figure that refers to each instance of a website or ad network appearing within a campaign – they saw the sharpest decline, with a 40 percent drop compared to 2013.

Demographic one declined by 6 percent points, while zones five and six, which refer to targeted audiences within a 15-year age gap, performed steadily from year to year.

Nielsen also found a similar decrease (8 percent) among campaigns targeted to a female audience of any age group, particularly 35 to 64. However, the biggest decline of all was the 25 percent drop among campaigns targeting an audience between the ages of 35 and 54.

Because many marketers view Gen X as being affluent, technologically savvy, and brand loyal, the number of campaigns targeted at this demographic quintupled from last year. By comparison, the average number of campaigns aiming to reach other demographic segments only roughly doubled.

“As the industry changes, so does the definition of success,” says Randall Beard, global head of advertiser solutions at Nielsen. “We update these benchmarks around the dynamic media landscape so that media buyers can maximize return on investment by evaluating their partner and placement strategy throughout the campaign cycle, and consider how the changing environment might influence their strategy.”

Click here for the original article from ClickZ.

Hey, Ecommerce Companies – Location Still Matters!

If you have an eCommerce business, you probably think that location doesn’t matter. But that isn’t always the case.

New research from the Wharton School suggests that real-world factors such as location can actually have a big impact on online businesses. In this instance though, the location that matters is that of the customers rather than the business itself. In an interview with Knowledge @ Wharton, Marketing Professor David Bell explained:

“What we’re finding is that it’s still about location, but this time it’s about the location of the customer. Where is that customer and with whom does that customer also live? That’s what’s really important in the world of eCommerce.”

The reason that a customer’s location matters so much is pretty simple, when you think about it. Existing customers can sometimes be the most powerful source of referrals, even for online companies. That’s because customers often talk to friends and acquaintances in the offline world about their experiences with online companies. So their location, in relation to potential new customers, is paramount.

Bell offered a practical example based on his research surrounding online men’s clothing retailer Bonobos.com:

“The firm that we looked at…in locations where customers were more apt to talk to each other and trust each other, there was a greater sales diffusion online. The target customer in this case is a male, aged 25-45, who is somewhat fashion-forward. It turns out that a good proxy for where those males are congregating is the number of bars and liquor stores per capita in a location. We had some sociological theory that told us about interaction and then we were able to go to public data and find a variable that was actually a pretty good proxy.”

So what’s the takeaway from all this data?

Bell insists that more online companies are learning the importance of also operating offline. Of course, there are still benefits to operating online, says Bell. It makes it easier to reach large numbers of potential customers, makes fulfillment easier and makes it easier to scale your business. But it could be a mistake to only focus those efforts online.

He says that businesses can find correlations between online customers and their offline activities, as Bonobos.com found. And finding these links can help to plan offline marketing activities that can lead to online sales.

Click here for the original article from Small Business Trends.

The 3 Biggest Factors in Your Small Business Website’s Success

Is your small business website poised for success? A recent poll asked Internet users what they expect from websites—and meeting their demands is actually pretty straightforward. Here’s what the study, the State of the User Experience Report, found are the most important things customers care about when visiting a website.

1. Website performance: A high-performing website loads quickly, streams without buffering and otherwise delivers from a technical standpoint. This is by far the most important thing customers care about, cited by 52 percent of respondents.

What defines “loading fast”? Sixty percent of consumers polled say they won’t wait more than five seconds for a Web page to load; about 20 percent won’t even wait three seconds. If a website doesn’t load quickly enough, more than 30 percent of respondents say they leave and buy from a competitor’s website instead.

2. Fresh, updated content: The second-most important factor in consumers’ experience. If you have an ecommerce website, it needs to be updated regularly, just like a physical store’s displays would be, to entice customers to buy new merchandise. If you create other types of content, such as blog posts or articles, those need to change regularly, too.

3. Consistency on mobile and desktop: This is the third most important factor, but can be the hardest for small companies to achieve. A whopping 85 percent of customers use mobile devices at least occasionally to go online, and more than half use mobile devices to go online “most of the time.” If your website isn’t mobile-friendly, don’t delay in getting it there—and keep in mind that 40 percent of customers expect your site to load just as fast on their smartphones or tablets as they do on their desktop computers.

4. Personalization: Personalization came in dead last on the list. While it is a hot buzzword in online marketing today, the news from this survey is that customers don’t care about personalization all that much. In fact, 40 percent of consumers don’t want a website to remember them from visit to visit. Concerns about privacy are still very real for online visitors, so a business’s efforts to personalize the online experience must tread a fine line. You don’t want to freak customers out by making them feel like Big Brother is watching them!

Does your small business website give prospective customers what they want? If you’re not meeting visitors’ expectations, they’re not going to stick around—and that can have a huge effect on your business. If your website is missing any of the key elements, take steps—now—to fix the problem and get your site back on track.

Click here for the original article from AllBusiness Experts.